December 29, 2007 Opinion of the elections in El Salvador in 2009 The year 2009 will bring new opportunities in El Salvador

. The leadership of the FMLN has selected a person outside the Party to be their candidate for Presiden t. Mr. Mauricio Funes, a journalist, is the person who answered the position hel d by the Arena party in the previous four presidential terms in El Salvador. Mau ricio Funes study at Universidad Centroamericana (UCA). After the recent civil w ar, the situation for the vast majority of people in the country has not improve d. Poverty, unemployment and crime have got worse. On the one hand a small group of investors has been favored in remittances that Salvadorans have been sending the U.S. to their relatives. Remittances have come to exceed two billion dollar s a year and became one of the largest economic reinforcements for society. The Arena party has constantly assured the Salvadorans that if the FMLN wins the pre sidential elections, the United States Government will implement retaliation aga inst such an event, and that Salvadorans living in the United States will be pen alized by not letting them send the much needed remittances to their families. S omeone could not imagine how intimidating that could have an effect, but it does . My parents, for example, believe that what Arena is saying is true. They go fu rther away thinking that if the opposition in El Salvador won the presidential e lections their homes and properties will be confiscated by the "communists." Thi s is a belief that dates back to when the peasants rose in 1932 in El Salvador. Arena ideological use this tool because the fear of "communist" is imbued in the psyche of the soldiers. The political life of El Salvador has been directly inf luenced by the politics of the United States Government, and this has interfered with the determination of the Salvadoran people. The United States Government h as supported right-wing parties, governments and military dictatorships for many decades. Again, using fear as an excuse that the "communists" were to take the continent in the 1980s, El Salvador became the dividing line in which the United States Government to stop the "communists" in accordance with Ronald Reagan. No w the U.S. has allied with the Communists in China and former communist countrie s that were part of the dismantled Soviet Union and Russia, for example. No Cold War. As a result, in the 2009 elections in El Salvador, the United States Gover nment can no longer use that excuse. Was completed. Communism is dead as a syste m. Capitalism reigns. However, in El Salvador economic system is still pseudofeudalistic where a small powerful group of interests have been in control of th e country's resources. You will be given the opportunity to prosper and El Salva dor to participate in the global economy? According to Mr. Funes, the FMLN has a greed to respect the free market and allow competition, and at the same time dev elop programs to benefit the great majority of people who are poorly educated. T he literacy rate was approximately 80% in 2005 according to the Report of the Un ited Nations Human. Education and economic development require immediate attenti on in El Salvador. It is incredible that in the XXI century we are still observi ng the injustices committed against indigenous peoples in the Americas. The Maya n civilization which was destroyed belonged Salvadorans in the country. Apart fr om this injustice, the land belonging to the indigenous people was taken away by force. The true heirs and owners of the land now are the poor. The Salvadorans have the right to enjoy the fruits of the earth, but this basic human right has been denied by a small group that sees the value of sharing resources with other s. This selfishness has continued for long. This is a sin that has touched the h earts of God in this land of injustice. But there is hope that change finally co mes to El Salvador. If the people of El Salvador joins Mr. Funes and elected as President, the situation will probably improve. Perish unless Mr. Funes, over ti me, has earned people's respect while serving his job as a journalist confrontin g the powerful in the country. However, this is not enough. Mr. Funes and leader ship of the FMLN must guarantee freedom of expression, human rights, a free mark et, and above all democracy.€It is important to note that El Salvador has a gre at potential for development and progress considering that about 2 million Salva dorans live in the United States who have prospered and those that provide finan cial support to society. At the same time, many Salvadorans have become professi onals in various fields and they could provide technical and logistical support

to their brothers and sisters. This is the time of the unit. Salvadorans must ta ke up this challenge. Their aspirations should be pronounced. The winds of chang e are present. The turning point will be fulfilled when all Salvadorans involved in all corners of the planet to make it a reality. All Salvadorans must appeal for the right to vote in the 2009 elections where we are. The right to vote is i mperative. Churches and religious groups have a role to play in the upcoming ele ctions. Christian values call us to a practical expression of the Gospel in El S alvador. The teachings of Archbishop Oscar Romero are now booming and echoing ev erywhere. The voiceless now have a voice. All Christians in the world should lis ten and pay attention to the call for justice in El Salvador. Local churches sho uld unite under the slogan of peace and justice. The body of Christ should unite . Everyone is invited to the Lord's table. When one of the "little" is excluded, all suffer. The aspirations of the Salvadoran and spiritual needs must be addres sed as well. Religious groups can no longer take the view the other side. Doing that is a sin. Personally, I am very excited about the candidate selected by the leadership of the FMLN to the presidential elections in 2009 in El Salvador. Ho pe is the key word for me. The election campaign will be very difficult because the Arena party has the financial support of small powerful group in the country that controls everything. The ideological war also played a major role. Arena i s going to insist that the FMLN is a communist ideology, and that the FMLN wants to install an authoritarian regime in the country. Small businesspeople in El S alvador along with other sectors that benefit from free competition could play a crucial role in deciding the fate of the country, and thus counteract the posit ions of Arena. The final popular vote will determine the future of El Salvador. If Mr. Funes wins the upcoming presidential elections, all Salvadorans have the opportunity to see our country develop in a democracy the people for the people in all aspects of society. My hope is that this becomes a reality with the help of God. Miguel A. Miguel A. Hernández _________________________________________ ______________________________ Hernandez was born in El Salvador and lives in Ne w York City. He has lived in the United States since 1977 and was naturalized in that country. Master of Electrical Engineering: Polytechnic University, New Yor k. Certificates of Theology: The Newark School of Theology, New Jersey. Email: m